Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Iraqi Christians ordered to Pay Taxes for Protection

The Blaze
June 25, 2014

Christians in a northern Iraqi city are reportedly being ordered to pay a tax in return for protection by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
A Middle Eastern Christian website and a Lebanese daily reported that Christians have been required to pay $250 per individual who works and $500 per couple. If accurate, the tax would fall in line with past Islamist efforts to impose fines on Christians in the region, a Middle East expert told TheBlaze.
In this Sunday, June 15, 2014 photo, Iraqis attend Mass at the Chaldean Church of the Virgin Mary of the Harvest, in al-Qoush, set in the seventh century Saint Hormoz monastery built into a hill overlooking Alqosh, a village of some 6,000 inhabitants about 31 miles north of Mosul, northern Iraq. Dozens of Christian families that fled to this ancient Iraqi village have taken a much-traversed route -- many from their minority community have escaped to Alqosh before, in fear for their lives. This time, few say they want to go back to their homes, seeking safety under the Kurdish forces known as the peshmerga. (AP Photo)
In this Sunday, June 15, 2014 photo, Iraqis attend Mass at the Chaldean Church of the Virgin Mary of the Harvest, in al-Qoush, set in the seventh century Saint Hormoz monastery built into a hill overlooking Alqosh, a village of some 6,000 inhabitants about 31 miles north of Mosul, northern Iraq. Dozens of Christian families that fled to this ancient Iraqi village have taken a much-traversed route — many from their minority community have escaped to Alqosh before, in fear for their lives. (AP Photo)
Council of High Commission for Human Rights in Iraq member Salama Al-Khafaji told the Arabic-language Alsumaria News that ISIS had begun imposing the tax, known as “jizya,” on Christians who remained in Mosul after the militant group seized the city earlier this month. The Assyrian International News Agency summarized the report on its English-language website.
Al-Khafaji said ISIS “is imposing on Christians a minimum payment of $250, with amount varying depending on the type of work/profession performed by Christian citizens.”
“The economic situation in Mosul is extremely difficult, and there are no financial resources or job opportunities except for vegetable shops, any other businesses are non-existent. Citizens are at a loss now as to how to make ends meet; how can they pay those amounts to ISIS?” Al-Khafaji asked.

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